Aurubis AG

Graduates of INEMET are working in various departments and roles at Aurubis.

Testimonials_Aurubis_2021_Übersicht_Tätigkeit


Cora Kleeberg, graduated in 2014, Research and Development - Recycling

Why did you choose the specialization of Non-ferrous Metallurgy?

Foto von Cora Kleeberg

The most important point for me: The specialization “Non-ferrous Metallurgy” offers the largest variety of (metallurgical) processes in the university course “Material science and material technology”: pyrometallurgy, hydrometallurgy, material processing, crystal growing. Also the properties of elements/metals and the requirements for their production processes have a high variation. By choosing non-ferrous metallurgy one is well positioned and flexible for professional live beyond university.

In Europe, non-ferrous metallurgy is more sustainable and fit for the future than iron- and steel metallurgy, especially the recycling of non-ferrous metals.

Also important for me, especially retrospectively: Non-ferrous metallurgy deals not only with the metallurgical (chemical) process but also with the corresponding, impressive technologies. Liquid metal and liquid slags are fascinating in both industrial practice and research perspective. Studying non-ferrous metallurgy allows both views, mostly even in combination.

Which skills do you require today in your job that you did NOT learn within your studies?

Project management, (legal) fundamentals to health and safety, usage of thermodynamic software/simulation software, calculation of mass- and energy balances, calculation of heat transfer (not included in technical thermodynamics 1), knowledge on fluid mechanics, deep knowledge on excel, design of experiments (statistic)

Looking back what makes the TU Bergakademie Freiberg and INEMET special?

The small number of students was particularly pleasant. On the one hand, it enables direct and individual support from the lecturers; on the other hand, it creates a feeling of belonging to the course and the institute. It also enables a certain degree of flexibility and options to influence things, which is less possible at larger universities / institutes.

The direct supervision and interaction with the lecturers increases the quality of the training, especially when it comes to theses, regular exchange and individual feedback ensure a steep learning curve.

The large number of practical work, both in laboratories and in companies, in small groups are not a matter of course or possible at most universities.

INEMET's close exchange with companies, such as metallurgical round tables and the promotion of internships/theses in companies, offers good opportunities for a career after university.


Marei Albert, graduated in 2013, Operations – Secondary Smelter Lünen

Why did you choose the specialization of Non-ferrous Metallurgy?

Foto Marei Albert

I have decided to study non-ferrous metallurgy because it‘s versatile and covers many different interesting areas like hydro- und pyrometallurgy. The lecture in the basic studies and excursions gave me a good insight and piqued my interest. I also found the topic of metal recycling very exciting, as it is a very important topic for an industrial location like Germany.

Which skills do you require today in your job that you did NOT learn within your studies?

In the day-to-day working life at the plant skills regarding personnel and project management are very important. Though a lot is training on the job, I sometimes wished to be prepared better in my studies.

Knowledge about production engineering, technical equipment and maintenance is also a part, which was not covered that much in the studies, but because it is very specific for every plant, knowledge is gained through experience.

Looking back what makes the TU Bergakademie Freiberg and INEMET special?

I really liked the familiar atmosphere, you are not just a number in the system. Because of the small groups and the direct contact to the research assistants and technical employees the education was very good. Through the  possibility to do practical work in the lab and furnace hall the studies were complemented with first practical experience.


Alexander Dressler, graduated in 2015, PhD in 2020, Operations – Precious Metals / Lead

Why did you choose the specialization of Non-ferrous Metallurgy?

Foto Alexander Dressler

  • Well-balanced combination of process engineering & chemistry with high practical relevance
  • High application potential of the knowledge / many options for later activities

Which skills do you require today in your job that you did NOT learn within your studies?

  • Project management basic skills are needed
  • Simulation of metallurgical processes (FactSage, HSC, OLI) - part of the course of study but not sufficiently in-depth
  • Deeper understanding of process engineering basics - e.g. heat and mass transfer as well as process engineering of material preparation and processing would be a desired add-on

Looking back what makes the TU Bergakademie Freiberg and INEMET special?

  • Many topics had direct link to extractive metallurgy and topics provided from industrial partners
  • Comprehensive discussions as a result of a very collaborative atmosphere and close relationship to supervisors

Christoph Lachmann, graduated in 2010, Group Production Planning

Why did you choose the specialization of Non-ferrous Metallurgy?

I chose the specialization because of the variety of Foto Christoph Lachmanndifferent processes and the complexity of these present in non-ferrous metallurgy.

Also the possible flexibility in a steadily changing work environment was a big selling point for me as well.

Which skills do you require today in your job that you did NOT learn within your studies?

Mechanisms to cope with the hamster-wheel that is working on a conglomerate level. Knowledge in regards to project work was not suitable for the “real world” in comparison to knowledge transferred during university days.

Looking back what makes the TU Bergakademie Freiberg and INEMET special?

The real “family”-like environment with a well education due to smaller study groups was in retrospect the best kind of knowledge transfer in comparison to other universities for me.

The possibility to work at an ISA-Smelter pilot plant was a real nice experience in regards of seeing smaller production scales and not just being limited to lab-experiments.

Due to the fact of the affordability of flats and the size of the city the city itself is flooded with students, which makes the student life in Freiberg really enjoyable by not being trapped insight a campus complex but still having the “student” feeling.


Eric Klaffenbach, graduated in 2011, Research and Development – Base Metals and Process Integration

Why did you choose the specialization of Non-ferrous Metallurgy?

Foto Eric Klaffenbach

For me there were two main reasons. The first is that the field is very interesting due to the large variation of different processes which gives the possibility to experience new learnings and observations during the whole career.

Secondly, it provides the opportunity to actively shape the future of our planet by developing and implementing clean processes in metal production and recycling and being part of establishing a circular economy.

Which skills do you require today in your job that you did NOT learn within your studies?

The use of software packages supporting the work to simulate thermodynamics of flowsheets such as FactSage and HSC was not part of the studies but is a requirement in today’s metallurgical industry. Project management skills and understanding of economics are important, but for young engineers these can be also learned and were supported by the company during the initial time of industrial practice.

Looking back what makes the TU Bergakademie Freiberg and INEMET special?

A big advantage was of having lectures in small groups. Lectures became very interactive and made learning much faster. The way that supervisors, technical staff and students worked together was always collaborative and supportive. No one was left alone and people helped each other to succeed with their tasks and studies.


Christoph Zschiesche, graduated in 2011, Research and Development – Poly-metallic Process Design and Optimization

Why did you choose the specialization of Non-ferrous Metallurgy?

Foto Christoph Zschiesche

At the moment where I had to decide there was the faszination of producing metals associated with the picture of molten copper. But there was more than copper, it was the broad range of base metal production which were covered in the lectures starting from aluminum followed by nickel, tin, zinc and the heaviest metal of all –lead-.

Which skills do you require today in your job that you did NOT learn within your studies?

Since I started my career at Aurubis there were many projects in primary copper smelting and later on in complex lead metallurgy I had to deal with as process engineer. At this time I wished to were better prepared in understanding thermodynamic and it’s relevance for extractive metallurgy. How to use these basics for deep dive process modelling and what is essentially needed to investigate a process in detail (characterization of input and output material, process parameters, fluxing strategy) shall be a major pillar of the lecture(s).

Using flowsheet tools like HSC SIM was not a key pillar of my lecture(s) but would definitely contribute to enforce a high level understanding of elemental behavior in an integrated network of pyrometallurgical and hydrometallurgical assets.

Looking back what makes the TU Bergakademie Freiberg and INEMET special?

Essentially it was the town itself which allowed to be focused on the study. I met a lot of colleagues which was fun to talk and work with them while having a high amount of practical actions (experiments, project work, pilot plant campaign at the furnace hall). Furthermore it was a very close relationship to supervisors and technical employees of the institute which was enforced while having this project work in lab /furnace hall.

Also the broad range of topics which were already covered in the lecture(s) prepared me quite well and I feel very proud to be a graduate of TU Freiberg and I would like to thank all the colleagues and former co-workers for that.


Robert Wolf, graduated in 2013, PhD in 2019, Research and Development – Poly-metallic Process Design and Optimization

Why did you choose the specialization of Non-ferrous Metallurgy?

Foto Robert WolfI started studying materials science because materials surround us everywhere. So it will always be necessary to deal with this topic and make the best use of them. There is no safer future prospect for me. I decided for non-ferrous metallurgy after looking at the periodic table of elements. I found and still find it exciting to be able to extract any of these elements and to deal with their properties. My expectation was not disappointed until today.

Which skills do you require today in your job that you did NOT learn within your studies?

During my studies, I was taught the processes and the underlying properties of the elements very well. The reference to theoretical modeling came too short for me in my studies. Although basic knowledge about statistics, thermodynamics and modeling were teached but the way how to translate into application was not covered very well.

Looking back what makes the TU Bergakademie Freiberg and INEMET special?

The manual work in experiments, which established a practical reference and trained in "nosing, tasting, feeling", is still indispensable for me. Thanks to the collaborative and kind of family like atmosphere I could generate the basement which is the requirement to growth along the career path.